WHEN IT COMES to keeping feet neat, athletes usually fall to the back of the pack. Dead skin, heavy calluses and broken toenails are common side effects of a sporty life, which can feel incredibly painful — and look even worse. We road-tested how to take your toes from a 10k to flip-flop-ready.
» Service: The Foot Patrol (75 minutes, $90)
» Where: Bliss Spa, 515 15th St.; 202-661-2418
» How It Works: A rotation of treatments — including soaking, exfoliating, a deep massage and a callus-softening paraffin mask — help feet go from scary-looking to baby soft. Be sure to book in advance: The spa sees a spike in clientele on big race weekends.
» Best Part: The Diamancel foot file — crafted from actual chips of diamond, the hardest natural substance on Earth — took off so much dead skin, the technician’s towel looked like Snowmaggedon 2.
» Be Careful: Major athletes won’t want to remove all of their calluses, which can help pad feet during high-intensity workouts.
» Man Up: Guys make up about 35 percent of Bliss’ clientele, says nail pro Duc Durocher. And men’s feet tend to be in better shape “because they don’t wear open-toed shoes or high heels,” he says.
» Post-Treatment: “Once you’ve had a thorough pedicure, you should keep up with moisturizing to make it last,” Durocher says. “A big mistake people make is forgetting to moisturize their feet. If you remember to do so, the softness you feel now will last a long time.”
THREE MORE TO TRY
If you’re …
» A Serious Athlete: Jouvence Salon — which has outposts in Reston, Va.; Pentagon Row and Rockville — offers a special “sport pedicure” (45 minutes, $50-$55) that promotes nail strength and growth, and includes an anti-fungi treatment.
» On a Budget: Cleveland Park favorite Nam’s Posh Nails earns raves for its long-lasting pedis, pristine environment and friendly service. A basic pedicure costs $25, while a spa pedi — including a sea salt scrub and OPI products — is $40; 2744 Ordway St. NW; 202-966-6699.
» An Eco-Lover: Several Washington Wizards have been known to stop in for the signature pedicure (80 minutes, $75) from green-friendly Nusta Spa, which includes a soothing foot and leg seaweed mask, and an organic paraffin dip, plus polish options from natural nail care line Zoya; 1129 20th St. NW; 202-530-5700.